In a recent interview, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said he hopes a smartphone manufacturer will make a device that’s a throwback to the classic design of the Bold 9900.
Chen was on the Recode Decode podcast with Kara Swisher when he said, “You remember the 9900, the Bold? It fits right in your palm. I think somebody should make that.”
Chen mused throughout the interview that a new Bold-like device would be good fit for professionals who need a simple and secure device that isn’t too fancy but still gets the jobs done.
“I think I should find a hardware partner to do this,” said Chen later in the interview. All of the more recent smartphones that feature the BlackBerry name have been manufactured by the Chinese company TCL. None of them can be said to feature what could be considered a classic BlackBerry design.
The last phone to bear resemblance to the Bold line of phones was the BlackBerry Classic from 2014.
It wasn’t the saviour that BlackBerry needed at the time, but the company is in a much different place now that it’s not manufacturing its own hardware.